You want to start a business and need help with choosing the right website domain name. You have a few ideas, you have a name in mind perhaps, and now your looking to register a domain name to get your website started. I want to outline some tips in picking a good domain name that will attract visitors, enhance your branding and website.

1. Brainstorm Top 10 Keywords

To get started, jot down 10 terms or phrases that best describe the domain name you’re seeking. Think about phrases people might search to find you in search engines. Phrases are usually much better than single words alone. Search engines prefer domain names that describe the site and are loaded with keywords. Once compiled, you can start to add prefixes & suffixes to create good domain ideas.

For example, if you’re launching an insurance related domain, you might start with words “insurance, auto policy, affordable rates, agent, finance, Seattle insurance” from there, play around until you can find a good match. Example: Floyd Insurance Agency.

2. Is it easy to type?
Does the domain name require considerable attention to correctly typed words, due to spelling, length or the use of unmemorable words or sounds, if so you’ve lost a good portion of your branding and marketing value. This includes avoiding “q,” “z,” “x,” “c,” and “p”).

3. No hyphens and numbers
Simply put, these will be tougher for people to remember.

4. Do your research
Don’t pick a name unless you can register multiple spellings of the same name. If you have any direct competitors with a very similar name, don’t buy it. Buy multiple versions of your name. Example: your domain name is thegraystripe.com buy graystripe.com and thegreystripe.com consider buying flopped word version stripegray.com and stripegrey.com. And you can have all of them forward to your website without any missed traffic from misspellings or flopped words.

5. Make it short and sweet
You want something easy to type and remember. Word-of-mouth and SERPs dominance marketing (where your domain consistently comes up for industry-related searches) both rely on the ease with which the domain can be called to mind. You don’t want to be the company with the great website that no one can ever remember.

6. DOT.COM only!
If you’re serious about name recognition or branding you must get a .com domain. You could also get .net, .org to direct traffic to your .com site. This could bring in more traffic to your website, so don’t limit yourself of potential traffic.

7. Domain name should be your website name
It would be very confusing to have a completely different name (logo name) on your website. When people think of your website, they will think of it by the name. Thus it should be exactly the same or very close. For example, we have a client with a web domain procarewindowcleaning.com and the business name is Pro Care, this is acceptable as it combines the business name with a key phrase.

8. Don’t pick a name on a demographic
Don’t pick a name with a demographic attached to it like sanfranciscodesign.com.  For example, perhaps you decide to relocate your business? You can always add demographic key words in your website.

9. The latest trend will die, don’t follow
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to jump in as well. Stay away from uninspiring short adjectives (ex: best…com, top…com, top…com), odd misspellings, and multiple hyphens.

10. Avoid trademark Infringement
Not too many run into this mistake, but it can kill a great company name. Before you spend your money, make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes with trademark infringements.  Try running the name on copyright.gov.

There are also premium domain names that typically have a very high asking price because of their search engine optimization (SEO) potential. It’s usually not worth it as you can buy any standard domain for $10 dollars. There are instances where the price might be worth the potential branding and web traffic.

Tools to pick a domain

Here are a few good web tools to help you in your search for brilliance.

1. Domjax – free domain name search tool, offering seo tools, website owner information, website traffic information, html validation, search engine page rank, google seo tools, web page archive, list cached and indexed pages.

2. KnowEm – checks for the available user name on over 550 popular and emerging social media websites. Makes sure your domain can have the same social media user names on such sites as Facebook and Twitter. This is highly recommended, if you don’t plan on using Facebook and Twitter, you should! Free Marketing.

3. DomainGroovy – domain name generator that allows you to enter any keyword and instantly receive hundreds of awesome domain names that are available.

4. NameStation – helps you to find names that are brandable, memorable, and unique. You can evaluate keyword variations, synonyms, affixes and their combinations in minutes.

If you would like to read another great “How To Choose the Right Domain” article, a great resource is First Guide’s Website.

We hope this information for choosing the right website domain name was helpful, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us here or post a comment below. We would love to help consult you on your next custom web design project. Give us a call at 206.659.8955 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.

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